There’re many different types of padlocks, from the simplest with the classic shape and cylinder to the key under the lock with various numerical combinations. They all have the same operation themselves (except for some very specific types): the key moves a series of pins, causing other drivers equipped with springs to be pushed. All pins push the drivers out of the key cylinder when the key is fully inserted. It can then rotate and release the opening mechanism.
The reverse process occurs when locking: by removing the key, the drivers pushing through the springs allow the pins to re-enter the cylinder and keep themselves in place, preventing the cylinder from rotating and locking. It is more obvious that locks become rusty in the presence of dust, storms, salt, or frost when the lock stays out. These elements can cause problems in the movement of the specified parts after a certain period of time and are therefore difficult to open. This easy-to-follow step-by-step guide helps you figure out how to unlock rusty locks.
ASSESS THE PROBLEM
- Various problems can occur.
- The key does not go in
- The key goes in but cannot rotate the cylinder
- The cylinder rotates, but the lock does not open.
In any case, before starting the operation, brush the padlock. Use the WD-40 Multi to clean and perform a cleaning of the outside and then wipe over it with a cloth.
IF THE KEY DOES NOT ENTER
This problem may be caused by a foreign body (soil, sand, etc.) that has penetrated into the keyhole, or by the crystallization of salt (if used in the presence of salt), or by the formation of oxide inside the mechanism. Lubricate with lubricating spray directly into the keyhole. If this does not work, use some WD-40 Specialist Penetrant that penetrates quickly and releases the components remarkably efficiently. Its formula is also suitable for difficult cases of oxidation. It is also water repellent.
IF THE CYLINDER DOES NOT ROTATE
This is the most common problem. The problem is due to the same things listed in the previous step. If the padlock is not locked on a solid body, the best thing to do is soak it for a few hours in a container with some WD-40 Multi-Use. During this time, the product penetrates even the smallest holes and usually solves the problem. If, on the other hand, the padlock is fixed because it is locked to a structure, place it with the key cylinder facing up and spray it with the best quality lubricant and secure the padlock in this position. Leave it like this. Add a spray of the product every half hour.
IF THE OPENING MECHANISM DOES NOT WORK
This is usually the most complicated problem because the locking mechanism is fully inserted inside the padlock block. As a first step, spray some WD-40 Multi-Use on the outside of the U-shaped metal hook where it enters the lock body. The lack of openness is often due to foreign bodies or oxidation present in these areas. Hold the key in the open position, press the hook a few times while also pulling it.
If this does not work, you can try to heat the hook with the flame of a gas burner: sometimes, the small expansion of the metal and subsequent contraction during cooling manages to remove the blockage of the mechanism. Only use a flame if the WD-40 completely dries the padlock, and any reapplication of the product should only be performed with a well-cooled padlock.
FINAL MAINTENANCE LUBRICATION
Once the latch is unlocked, perform some maintenance lubrication with WD-40 Specialist PTFE lubricant designed specifically to maintain all types of cylinders. Thanks to its non-greasy or silicone formula, it penetrates all micro-mechanisms of locks without soiling them. In addition to its instant unlocking power, it ensures preventive maintenance of moving parts and protects you from rust, even on the outside. Spray it into the keyhole, along the outside of the cylinder, and inside the holes on the finishing hook.
IF IT STILL DOESN’T WANT TO OPEN
As already indicated in step 4, try using the flame of a torch (always with the padlock fully dried by WD-40). The heating must not be too great. Otherwise, the drivers’ springs may be damaged. A final attempt may be to use a special set consisting of a “probe” and a “tensioner,” which (and with a little trial and error) you can open the padlock.
This simple, effective, and easy-to-follow step-by-step guide has helped you know how to unlock rusty padlocks. Do not wear rust on your padlocks anymore, no matter where they are, indoors or outdoors! If you need a professional for your locks issue, count on Locksmith in Largo. At All In One Locksmith, our skilled locksmith can handle all makes and models of locks and keys.
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